The Brand Bringing Traditional Techniques to Modern Women

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Photography by Stephen Elwyn Smith, Styling by Katie McGoldrick

London-based clothing brand Kepler combines contemporary ideas with time-honoured methods, to create beautiful, seasonless clothing

  1. Who is it? 
    London-based label Kepler
  2. Why do I want it? 
    Beautiful handmade clothing which combines traditional garment-making techniques with contemporary references – to be worn year in, year out
  3. Where can I find it?
    In selected webshops and via email order

Who is it? Alexandra Hadjikyriacou and Jaimee McKenna first met while studying Textiles at Central Saint Martins and were friends for many years before founding their label Kepler in July 2016. The brand’s name hails from the planet Kepler-186f, which NASA discovered two years earlier. And while the parallel to outer space seems unexpected, it’s also rather appropriate; within their first two collections (they will show their third early next year) the pair have established a reputation for marrying long-lasting fabrics with otherworldly patterns and refined details, thus filling a new gap in a contemporary fashion universe. Their principal sources of inspiration? Renaissance art, tribes, and most recently, astrology, to name just a few.

“The moods and ideas we both collect are all coming from the same eras and feeling, so they’re very different but always married together,” the pair explain. “We are always looking for the same kind of thing but find it in different media.” The same can also be said of their skill set and personal style: “Alex is pretty androgynous, loves patterns on patterns, and camouflage, whereas Jaimee’s taste is more feminine in the conventional sense, and she loves draping. Alex is all over a piece, and Jaimee loves finishing the pieces through all the nitty-gritty details.“ 

All of Kepler’s pieces are made by the pair themselves, on domestic sewing and knitting machines in their small Dalston studio. “If we didn’t work like that, our ideas wouldn’t evolve, and we wouldn’t be able to make our own mistakes to learn from,” they continue. “Luckily there is room for failure in the fashion industry and that is important. But we also keep reminding ourselves that we save hemlines, not lives.”

Why do I want it? Hadjikyriacou and McKenna knew from the start that they didn’t want to keep up with the relentless pace of the fashion calendar. Instead, Kepler pieces are made to be right at home in their wearer’s collection of timeless wardrobe essentials. “It’s a shame to rush things,” they explain. “If you create something beautiful, people will see it anyway – no matter what time of the year it is. Our favourite jumpers are from our mums’ teenage closets, for example – so we realised that we want to make clothes to pass down through generations, too.”

Kepler takes inspiration from a careful selection of garments from countries like Japan, Scotland and Hadjikyriacou’s home of Cyprus, but the forms that the brand creates with its traditionally crafted fabrics could not feel more contemporary, or distinctive. Pleated jeans, corseted denim jackets and a lilac suit made of unwashed silk are just a few highlights from previous collections. And with their third instalment due to land in the new year, there is plenty more to come. “We definitely became a little bit more ‘alien-y’,” in the second collection, the pair explain, which graduated on from an earthy palette to more abstract shapes. “With our upcoming collection we will take a step back in order to get closer to the Kepler woman, the Kepler human; someone who always knows what she wants and constantly works towards it.”

Where can I find it? For this London-based brand, at least some of the allure is in the chase; you can currently order Kepler seasons one and two of Kepler via email. Stay tuned for developments in online stores shortly.